By Sunil Rampersad
It’s not often that I make the long commute to Pasadena, and even much less so to La Canada-Flintridge, but I did it last week. The reason for the long commute was this year’s Pasadena Showcase House of Design, held at one of the amazing creations of architect Paul Williams (the subject of my last article).
The event itself boggles the mind. First, a historic building is chosen. Then if there are residents, as with this year’s house, they are moved for several months – with all their belongings! The completely empty building and grounds then become a blank slate for interior and landscape designers to work their magic. (You can view videos of the house being transformed here.)
The spaces in the house come in all shapes and sizes, from grand and high-ceiling to small alcoves with slanted roofs, so there’s a range of design solutions. What’s especially great about this year’s event is the large outdoor space that was available to landscape designers – almost five acres, I’m told. The gardens created are not to be missed – keep in mind that all of it was in a ‘natural’ state and everything you see is a product of a designer.
As I watched as workers put tall trees and bushes in place on the neighbouring property, it hit me what an incredible logistical feat it must be to put an event like this on. But the PSHA are pros at this, with this year’s event marking the 47th Showcase House. There’s even a huge gourmet dining restaurant tent on site and a shopping area filled with eclectic merchandise.
Like going to a gallery, the longer you look, the more you are likely to find. As I took some pictures, first one, then another object would catch my eye, and in the end I ended up with more pictures than I could show here.
(The Pasadena Showcase House of Design runs from April 17 to May 15, 2011 and is open Tuesday to Sunday. Tickets can be ordered by going to PasadenaShowcase.org or by calling 714-442-3873.)